I think it’s generally safe to say that during our adolescense, we go through various stages of development relative to the unique societal situations in which we find ourselves. Depending on the progression of these stages, which can be facilitated by anything from our parents to school to MTV, the type of person one ultimately emulates or embodies can usually be traced along a chronology of one’s life thus far. Sort of like looking at a photo album that stretches throughout one’s life. That’s a confusing way to say that growing up has a lot to do with who we are today.
For me, at least as far as my musical endeavors are concerned (should be obvious), I went through a set of stages that for some of you may touch close to home: ska –> punk –> hardcore –> indie. I’m not ashamed to say that. This all happened in about a 4 – 6 year period, starting with the beginning of high school and continuing on to my present indie ways. I’d say it has something to do wanting to rebel as a teenager against the fucked system, which is what got me into punk. Upon realizing that, yes, the system is fucked, but that there’s nothing I can do about it, I trekked into a then-foreign indie territory, obsessed with my own internal emotional struggle rather than with a global “cause.”
My iTunes now looks like the aftermath of an indie vs. punk Bay of Pigs: the last of my youth existing in packets of Rancid, Operation Ivy, and Catch-22. While I do think the two former bands should be in everyone’s music library, it’s shocking for me to comprehend my apathy over punk’s decline in my life. However, part of the thrill of having more hard drive space than NASA is the fact that there are a lot of great, great bands that I used to listen to that I kept a hold of. Nostalgia has never been sweeter to me than when it applies to music.
The point of this overly-lengthy introduction was to introduce you to Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution
Principally the side project of former Catch-22
frontman Thomas Kalnoky, BOTAR is an ensemble of 15 musicians playing a unique form of ska that utilizes an eclectic array of instruments including horns, percussion, strings, guitars, etc…all done acoustically. The lyrics are rather impressive, telling stories of life, love, war, and existentialism, much like the work of the Romatic poets. In the spirit of sharing and caring, the band has made their only release, 2003′s A Call To Arms EP
, available for free
from their website. Unfortunately, their bandwidth got the best of them and the files are no longer available. I’d really like to get everyone to experience the EP in whole from its intriguing instrumental start to its emotional finish. So without further ado:
[MP3] BOTAR – Intro: This Is A Call To Arms
[MP3] BOTAR – Here’s To Life
[MP3] BOTAR – Dear Sergio
[MP3] BOTAR – It’s A Wonderful Life
[MP3] BOTAR – They Provide The Paint For The Picture-Perfect Masterpiece That You Will Paint On The Insides Of Your Eyelids